‘The Bo Xilai case has got to be one of the most bizarre, over-the-top political scandals in recent history. But there’s a lot more to it than the salacious details of murdered British fixers, love triangles involving a corrupt, fashion-obsessed police chief, and French villas. In The Rise and Fall of the House of Bo
, John Garnaut provides much-needed context about political rivalries that are, in part, family affairs with roots in the fratricidal conflicts of the Cultural Revolution. I only hope that he does an updated version covering the respective trials of Bo and Gu and the implications for China’s leadership. Besides, I want to learn more about those gifts of rare African bush meat and Segways...’
The Rise and Fall of the House of Bo
is available from amazon.com
, priced 4.20USD for Kindle (29RMB).
By Mo Yan
Picked by Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, former Time Out Beijing Books editor
‘Mo Yan’s fantastical, frenetic Pow! – the first of his novels to be published in English since he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2012 – follows Luo Xiaotong, a wildly unreliable narrator, who has grown up in a community of butchers. When we meet Xiaotong he is a man, not yet 20, consumed with a lust for flesh. It manifests itself in desire for both meat – whether pig, camel, cow or dog – and women. Mo writes with a cruel tongue. Few emerge unscathed and there is no hint of sentimentality for the Chinese countryside where the writer himself grew up. Contrasting with this bawdy subject matter is precise, poetic language, rendered here beautifully by Mo’s long-time translator, Howard Goldblatt. Mo can depict a character in the smell of their hands or the quivering of their nostril hair. Pow! was first published a decade ago in Chinese, yet its resonance remains. Above all, it brilliantly captures China in all its gruesome glory.’
is available from amazon.cn
, priced 110RMB.